Mome reads Mommy, My daughter's way to spell it when she was younger... It stuck. My son calls me Mome... just like it looks. I now sign all my notes to them "Love, Mome". It's our inside secret and makes them smile. I always want them to smile.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Error Codes and what They Mean to Your PC

Do you ever get error messages from your PC? Do you know what they mean? I, for one, do not. I usually ignore it, reboot if necessary, and hope that gets rid of it. Fortunately, for me, this usually resolves the problem, at least for the moment. Now there is a comprehensive website that will not only tell me what the error message is, they will guide me on it's impact to my system and how to remove it if need be.

Take for instance error 5080. You simply go to and look for the error code number. In this case I got this information:


Cause of error:The specified resource name is not supported by this resource DLL. This may be due to a bad (or changed) name supplied to the resource DLL.

The site goes even further by recommending different scans to prevent system slow down, find registry related errors, and identify all outdated drivers to solve the error.

The PC library, by Uniblue, is broken down into three databases pertaining to system errors and their definitions, port numbers and the applications associated with them, along with tips and tools to maximize the stability and performance of your computer.

Uniblue Systems Ltd. has received the Microsoft Gold Certified Partner seal and is offering this service at no cost because they believe everyone should be able to run whatever system they own at it's maximum potential.

Socially Conscious Investing


Would you invest $25 if you knew the money was: a) an investment which you would receive a return and b) an in investment in the Rebuilding of America?

I would!

ROA Corporation is currently looking for investors to do just that.  For a mere investment of $20 (plus a $5 processing fee) you can invest in the rebuilding of America.  Where else can you make a true investment for so little?  Your $20 will be put into Jumbo CDs and the CDs are then leveraged to purchase, rehabilitate, modernize and finish foreclosed projects believed to be income producing.  The income accrued in the sale or lease of these properties is returned to the investors.

For a more detailed explanation, check out this letter from the CEO of Rebuilding of America, Jim Jameson.  He is passionate about his cause and creating change for the US.

Think about it.  For $25, you can help out the banks and mortgage companies who are being drained from all the foreclosures.  You will be providing jobs to workers who will be rebuilding these properties and you will be receiving a monetary return on your investment.

This is a one of a kind investment opportunity.  Not only will profits from this endeavor be paid out yearly, after only 5 years, you will have the option of getting your $20 returned or reinvested.  What are you waiting for?


Update on Thanksgiving and Vicks on Feet

Thanksgiving was nice. A ton of food, good company, some wine, the kids behaved and we were smart enough to leave before they didn't. My only regret is not accepting the Pecan Pie my MIL was offering to let me take home. I've been craving it ever since. I think I'll send Hubby over to get some.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had received an email claiming that putting Vicks on your feet will stop even the most persistent of coughs. We tried it on Boog last weekend and it seemed to work. Three days later the cough was back and the Vicks no longer seemed to work, I was thinking we just got lucky. A commenter to that post said it had to be NEW Vicks. Our bottle expired May 2006, oops. In a moment of desperation last night, I sent Hubby for a new bottle. We had already given the poor guy Delsyn, and some throat spray, along with some motrin for his fever. He sounded awful and couldn't stay asleep due to the hacking cough that had returned. Five minutes after applying the new Vicks to his feet, he was resting comfortably. He awoke four hours later and we re-applied allowing him to sleep until this morning. I really think this Vick's thing works!

As a side note:, We took Boog to the Doctor this morning and found out he has pneumonia. If Vick's can take care of that, I'm sold!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ebay Selling and Donating

I mentioned earlier that I will be giving monthly money to different charities.  I already support several causes such as the MS Society, St. Jude, and the Alzheimer's Foundation.  I also support less known foundations monetarily and through other means.

I'm going to try to focus on these endeavors, and a little less on what the kids are doing, from here on out on this blog.  If you're interested in my kids, check here.  I would also like to spotlight other bloggers and blogs that are doing their best to help others.

So I was EC dropping the other day and came across  a blog with some beautiful crafts.  Tara, over at Success Bound has put some of her items up on Ebay, with 25% of the proceeds going to St. Jude.

I of course bid on the lovely angel ornaments and hope to be the winner,  My MIL will get the angels as a Christmas present and I'll be giving more to one of my top Charities.

Thanks Tara, for your beautiful creations, and for thinking of others to share your talent with.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Business Help is on the Way

In my never ending search for information on the web, I have found Mr. DeMichele is an SEO Consultant with a wealth of knowledge and experience. He is currently the founder and CEO of eVisibility, a company focused on providing cutting edge e-business strategies to it's clients.

DeMichele, a leading Internet Marketing Consultant, has worked with well known companies such as McDonalds, Prudential, and Chicago Title and always demonstrates a sharp knowledge of Internet Marketing Strategies. By spending a couple months monitoring in house staffs, he can develop and implement processes for the years to come that will make your business more profitable.

His site offers his services in internet marketing consulting , Reputation Management, SEO consulting and more. Others have hired him for needs such as how to increase their website's online visibility, review online business models and advice on increasing conversion on their websites. His insight into the future of ebusiness is fascinating and I believe through trial and error he has developed true strategies to help you and your business succeed.

While I am not currently in need of his services, his weekly tips keep me focused and motivated to increase my online presence and create more sites and/or businesses.

Cook your Turkey in Cranberry Juice

A new study suggests that marinating your holiday bird in a white cranberry brine and/or basting with white cranberry juice and other seasonings may prevent foodbourne illness.

While it is suggested that poultry be cooked to an internal temperature of 165, some people neglect to check the temperature and by adding cranberry juice, you can reduce the amount of bacteria and serve your guests a safer meal.

The researchers believe that the chemical compounds found in cranberries including color pigments and flavor compounds along with the berries natural acid combine to form a natural bacteria killer.

I love cranberries. Wouldn't dream of having turkey without some. I think a marinade might not suit the taste of all guests, but will definitely consider adding cranberries to the roasting pot and use the juices to baste.

Getting Into It

By IT, I mean the Holiday Spirit. Did you see my darling family in the previous post? I've got the Christmas, won't be going to the mall, fever. Now it's time for the Holiday cards. There are so many companies offering personalized cards, it's hard to choose which one. I know two years ago, I tried one of the "picture" companies (I won't bust on them here), I never received my cards. I ordered in October and nothing ever came. When I questioned the company in November, I got and e-mail that said "Sorry, we've refunded your money." That was it. No attempt to do them. No reason why they weren't done. I now look for other companies. Here is a good one I found. offers a large variety of cards in more than 200 different designs. From Corporate cards to Christmas Photo Cards, I'm sure you'll be able to find exactly what you need. Their site is very helpful, with photo tips and instructions for creating your special card. You can pick your personal message, decide on the color and they'll even put your return address on the envelopes for.

The site is very comprehensive and although their prices are a little higher than other card sites, I believe you get what you pay for and this site offers "extras" that I have not yet seen from another site.

Elfin Dance

From My Family to Yours...

Have a Safe and Enjoyable Holiday Season

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Starting the Holiday Early

Everyone is staying home today. Boog awoke with a light fever and awful cough (we put vicks on his feet, so hopefully it will go away) and Hubby isn't feeling well either. He had more injections for his back yesterday and is still in pain.
Maybe I can get some help with the cake I need to make for tomorrow (the kids love to help). I'm fine with bringing a dessert (and sausage squares and mashed potatoes), I'm not to thrilled about being told what kind of dessert to bring. Hubby likes Devil's Food cake with 7 minute frosting (which takes longer than 7 minutes) and his mom decided I should make that. I'm all for giving Hubby a cake he likes, but I and the kids would rather have chocolate frosting.
I think we'll relax, play, and snuggle all day. What fun!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More great deals from Kmart

For people like me, who refuse to shop at the stores after Thanksgiving, Kmart is offering some great online specials.  They have womens Kimono Wrap Sweaters on sale with an extra 10% discount when you order online.  They also have Abbey Hill bedding from the Medallion Dream bedding collection for an additional 30% off.  Both these items are reduced for online purchases only, and you must order by November 26th (tomorrow).

Throughout December, Kmart will also be offering different (online only) discounts on other items in the following categories:  Women's Plus sleepwear, Women's atention brand, Girls tops, All junior wear, Boys tops, Men's shirts and bottoms, Big Men's shirts and bottoms, and Infant and toddler bedding.

To make it even more fun and get us in the Holiday Spirit, has ornaments hidden throughout the site that offer a coupon code for extra savings on select products.  These ornaments change weekly so check back often (or weekly) for extra savings.

The specials will not show up on product page but instead, once you have put them in your cart.  Why not go to now and start saving, from inside your house, where it's warm, and there are no crowds, no lines at the check out, extra savings available, and free shipping on orders over $49.00.

Click Here Post?slot_id=26433&url=http%3a%2f%2fsocialspark

Worry Much?

I've been worried for days. My face has completely broken out, I've gained 6 pounds and I've been up since 3:30 this morning, unable to sleep, due to worrying about Puddin' Pop's denist appointment today.

She had her front two teeth pulled 10 months ago and today they were doing a filling on a back molar and a filling or possibly removing another front tooth. It ended up getting  In order to avoid her any more undue stress, the dentist decided to give her an oral sedative, versed, to relax her and have her not remember the ordeal.  I did not get the same consideration.  I had to sit in the waiting room and hope for the best.

When it was all over, we came home.  She slept for 2 hours.  This is her now.


Forgive the spaghetti sauce around her mouth.  The purple box she's shaking has the extracted tooth inside.

My how things have changed

I remember when I was a kid in grade school.  We would have practice fire and tornado drills.  For Fires we evacuated the building and for Tornados we would line up in the hall, legs crossed, facing the wall, far away from any glass. 

I remember a tornado threat (apparently with ample warning) that instead of lining us up in the halls, we were sent home. We all enjoyed a beautiful sunny day.  In fifth grade a fire broke out in the paper room, again there were no bells, we were just evacuated and sent home. I guess neither were sufficient enough for panic.

So far this year, Boogie has practiced fire drills, and tornado drills.  They have also lined up against the walls in the classroom, with the door locked for Intruder Drills and  had a Mass Evacuation Drill that is similar to a fire drill except the whole school meets together. 

This last drill was to take place last Friday.  Notes were sent home onThursday as a reminder to dress the kids warm (the weather had dropped) and since it was "Funny Feet Friday" where the kids can wear anythng on their feet, it was requested that they bring their funny feet in their backpacks to put on after the drill.  Apparently cold weather will not stop a mass evacuation drill but wetness will?  It had snowed for 10 minutes early in the morning (before the bus even came to get Boog), there was no accumulation, and yet the drill was rescheduled due to "wetness". 

I wash we didn't have to have these drills at all, but am sure that wet ground will not stop someone, who intends on doing harm, from doing so.

I Want That!

The kids are at that age where everything they see on TV they want. Puddin' Pop is following her brothers lead and yelling out "I want that, I want that" for every Barbie accessory and baby doll she sees. When it's all said and done, she will never remember what it is she asked for, so we're still pretty lucky that we get to pick out what she'll get.

Boogie is getting his Nintendo DS, in blue, because apparently the blue ones are the best. His Dad is in charge of handling that. I am in charge of Puddin' Pop's big gift and I want to find something for that she will enjoy and use. I am leaning towards the Barbie Diamond Castle, since she said I can be the purple Barbie.
We usually also get them a gift for both of them, you know, to promote the whole sharing idea. Last year they got the fisher price star station. It is so fun to watch them sing and dance while watching themselves on the TV. This year I wanted to get something for all their crafts and found this smART Easel by Mega. It has won several awards including the 2008 Parent's Choice Recommended Award.

The Mega brand is well known and trusted and they carry a variety of creative toys from Mega blocks, a smaller version of Legos, to mickey mouse figurines and play sets. They also have the favorite Nick Jr. characters Dora and Diego play sets. Their toys are durable and promote creative play. Be it with markers or play sets, your child is sure to be occupied for hours (just maybe not all together).

The benefit of the smART easel is that we can finally store all the paints, markers, pencils and crayons in one place, and I get my dining room table back.

Would you Tape Your Child Drugged?

So the dentist appointment is over. I wish they could have given me some of the meds they gave her, but alas, I'm sure insurance doesn't cover meds for those other than the patient. They had her take the versed orally and then we waited. She got silly and tired, but fought a good fight. Man is her head heavy.
In the end she received two fillings and another extraction (we thought this might happen but were not sure). They had us wait around until she was a little less loopy before allowing us to leave. My strong, independent child did not want to be held and kept trying to get away from me. Her poor legs were like jello and when I told her "you can't walk right now", she burst into tears asking "I can't walk anymore? I really can't walk anymore?" Poor thing.
She could stand (wobbly) 15 minutes later and we were allowed to leave. The nice hygienist commented that I should have brought my video camera to tape her. Really? My child is being given drugs that who know how she'll react to, She just had another tooth pulled, and you think either of us wants to remember this? I said nothing, but thought "b%&ch."

Small Business Loans

I mentioned a while back about looking into franchise opportunities. While I would love someday to open a simple, drive-thru only restaurant, the money we have available, at least right now, is not adequate to achieve this. I would also like to wait until both kids are in school full time, so I'm saving up.
If you are interested in starting your own business, and do not have the funds or investors readily available, can help you with funding, as well as check processing and
Credit card processing once you are up and running.
Whether your business is online or away from home, they have a variety of services to help you out. From credit card approval by phone and online, to contact with merchant advisors, is a member of the BBB and is ready to fill your needs.

A lot done already

Blog Pictures

Hubby was up mumbling something about not feeling well and having to change sheets on one of the kiddo's beds at 3am. I laid in bed, while he changed the sheets and put said kid back to bed. I then realized that there was no chance of me going back to sleep. Puddin" Pop has her dentist appointment today and the nerves have had me up since 3:30am. Hubby also isn't feeling well so I imagine I'll have both to take care of this afternoon. I've done 2 loads of laundry, written 2 posts (this will be 3), Put a roast in the crock pot for dinner, washed dishes, packed Boog's lunch, got a shower, dressed both kids, got Boog some breakfast, and dropped over 200 EC's. looks like it's going to be a productive day!
And an early night!
This message brought to you courtesy of Maxwell House. Without them I would be back in bed.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Being Self Sufficient

I've mentioned before about My Step Mom being afflicted with MS. My mother passed away from the disease. I remember finding out she had it and being in disbelief because she had no physical signs of the disease. As I got older, my Step Father became involved with the local MS Chapter and eventually became President. We were then expected to attend the different events and picnics sponsored by the chapter and that was my first experience with how bad my mother could/would get.
I think the hardest thing for an individual to "let go" of is their inability to be self sufficient. My Step Mom has difficulty walking, uses an assist dog, and has had hand controls installed in her car, but will not even discuss the idea of a wheelchair. I asked her several months ago if she had considered it. She would not discuss it. She later called me back to apologize and say that she wanted me to feel comfortable to ask anything, but she felt that she would walk "assisted" as long as she could.
I think The Scooter Store has made great strides in trying to make their scooters available to all in need. They also have a unique design to make getting around easier than the old clunky wheelchairs of yesteryear.
I know it is inevitable that my Step Mom will some day be in need of more assistance, but am in awe of her constant persistance to keep going and doing for herself. Heck, she does more in an average day than I do.

A little Nervous...Okay, A LOT

My darling baby girl has had more dental problems in her 2.5 years than most. About a year ago she had fallen and bumped her front teeth on the frame of our bed. There was no blood, and she wasn't screaming in pain, so we didn't think much of it. Then around Christmas she started avoiding chewing anything with the front teeth so we took her to the dentist. They did an x-ray and determined that she had an abscess and would need her front 2 teeth removed. She was 3 months shy of 2. It was an awful experience to hold her while the dentist extracted those teeth and she cries every time she sees him (although she is fine with the hygienists). Two weeks after the extraction, a new tooth arrived in the place of one removed. It wasn't on the x-ray and the Dentist assured me (over the phone) that it could not be a tooth. I took her in and it was indeed a tooth.
Now she has an abscess on one of her back molars and needs a filling. Since she is still quite traumatized by the dentist, they will give her an oral sedative and wait until she falls asleep to do the procedure. Since she will be out, I will not be allowed in the room. They will have her hooked up to monitors to insure her safety, but I can not help be a little frightened at would could possibly go wrong.
Her appointment is first thing tomorrow morning. Wish us luck!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Everyone Deserves a Christmas

I came across a heartbreaking story while surfing today. It's something I can not even fathom encountering in my life time, and yet it is real for these poor children and their families in the Philippines.

A local landfill in Payatas. known as Smokey Mountain, is daily inhabited by children as young as four, who are working with their families to find anything of value that they can sell to provide food for the family. The enormity of this crisis for food can be depicted by 200 lives being claimed when, after extensive rainfall, a trashslide occurred at the dump, many of the lives were of children.

The landfill in Payatas, The Philippines, is notoriously known the world over as Smokey Mountain. For over 35 years, the smoking dump site has grown to become a stark and heart-tugging reminder of the desperate onditions of humanity.

On a daily basis, children pick through newly arrived garbage to collect material to sell. The earnings made by one child are not enough to even buy food for the day. Hence, entire families are forced to climb the mountain each day, hoping to earn enough to feed everyone. Children as young as four years old are forced to work in this daily struggle for survival.

In response to the plight of these children, is working with Lighthouse Center For Children Foundation to bring a little cheer to the children this Christmas. has kicked off with a cash sponsorship of USD 10,000 to enable the children to celebrate Christmas. FusionExcel International has also pitched in a USD 5,000 in cash sponsorship. The money raised will help fund the projects already in place, and help fund additional projects aimed at providing better housing, and a means of livelihood for the Payatas community.

It is hoped that by creating better awareness to the plight of these children, more support can be garnered towards their betterment. Together we can bury poverty!

If this story tugs at your heart strings as it did mine, stop in at Christmas For Payatas to find out more about the plight of the children and to make a donation.

Everyone deserves a Christmas. Let's work together to make it happen.

Vicks on Feet

I received an email from my MIL yesterday. She's still pretty new to the whole e-mail thing. She has worked with computers for forever with different programs she needed for her Doctor's office Manager job, but never really used is socially. You know how you can tell who's new to e-mail by all the "junk" email that they send you? The stuff you first saw 10 years ago (depending on how long you've been on) about Microsoft giving stuff away, missing kids, etc.

I'm bad. When people send me the stuff, I immediately check it out on and then reply all with a link to their findings. It usually gets me off their "junk" mail list.

Anyway, My MIL sent me one yesterday that claims you can use Vicks Vapor Rub on the soles of your feet to stop a nagging cough. I looked it up. Snopes has classified this as undetermined. I was never a big fan of using it on the kids, as I was afraid they would rub their chest and possibly get it in their mouth or eyes while sleeping. Hubby says his parents used to put it under and just inside his nose. "NO! You can not do that to our children." However, I like this idea of putting on the feet, covering with socks, and in 5 minutes even the most persistent cough is gone. Both kids woke congested this morning, if I hear the slightest cough from either I am so covering their feet. The hard part will be getting them to keep socks on. I'll let you know my un-medical findings.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving Gifts for the Host

Remember the candy apples I made that were so hard I was sure they would still be around for a lovely centerpiece for the Holidays? Well...they got kinda gooey, slimy, and I really feared the ants coming back so I tossed them. I would also like to add that the coating that was left on the plate had to soak in super hot water for more than 20 minutes to get it off the plate. Won't do those again.
We are going to the in-laws for Thanksgiving. My usual gift (anywhere else I would go for a meal) is a bottle of wine (of course) but the in-laws not only don't drink, they really would prefer no one else does either (although on a couple Thanksgiving's Hubby has brought a bottle along anyway). So I thought a nice "Thank You" would be some Thanksgiving flowers. Everyone loves flowers, and I thought I would pick one out that could also be used as a centerpiece.
I looked at 1800flowers and came up with this beauty...
My MIL always goes all out with the dressing of her tables. She will bring out the Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers, the Turkey napkin rings, the festive plates and decorative napkins. With her fancy table cloth and colorful runner, I thought this piece would look lovely.

What we did Today...All Day

I mentioned earlier about the ornaments I "baked" last night for the girls to decorate this morning. They spent a little time painting and glittering their ornaments and then moved on to Lego's and bed jumping. They returned to their painting projects after lunch for about 30 minutes, adding sequins to their dried art.
When Boogie and his friend got off the bus, they immediately arrived for their ornaments to decorate and have been at it since. While I'm getting a little tired of picking all the sequins off the floor that keep getting dumped, the quiet of busy little workers is bliss.
Microwave Ornaments
4 cups flour
1 cup Salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
Mix ingredients into a dough. Roll out. Use cookie cutters to cut out your favorite shapes. Use a straw to punch out a hole at the top for hanging. Put 5-6 cookies on a microwave plate and cook for 3-5 minutes and your ready to decorate.

Naked Brothers Band


The Naked Brothers are at it again.  This time Nat has lost his Mojo.  In a new movie, Operation Mojo, that premiers this Saturday at 8pm EST on Nickelodeon, the band will head off to the woods for some Dudification.

I remember, not so long ago, when the first movie came out and all the hype had Boogie super excited. We are avid Nick fans and while the first movie was a little over his head at the time, we are looking forward to this second one.  Boog is now a huge fan of iCarly and Drake and Josh and really enjoys the music in both shows so The Naked Brothers will be a hit. I'm sure

I was also excited to see that they will be doing an online chat at 7pm EST, right before the movie, on  I think it will be fun to sit with Boog and let him ask any questions he may have to the two young musicians.

Boog has a love of music and "performing", however, he is only comfortable in front of family and close friends.  Both kids participate in the youth choir at church and have a blast every Wednesday night, but when performance time comes along (which is right around the corner), Boog refuses to get on stage.  He did fine at 2 and 3, but now is terrified to perform in front of strangers.

I hope that by watching these youths as a family, Boog will get to see them perform and possibly become a little less inhibited when it comes time for his Christmas performance.  I think I might even urge him to ask if they are scared to perform during the live chat.





Gonna have a Fun Day

I 'm so excited!  I found a recipe for easy bake Christmas ornaments yesterday and made up a batch last night after the kids went to bed.  They could have helped, if I had been better prepared.  I actually didn't find the recipe until after they went to sleep and wanted the decorations ready for our playdate at 9am.

4 cups flour

1 cup salt

1 1/2 cup warm water

Mix it all together, roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness, use your favorite holiday cookie cutters to cut out the shapes.  Make a hole in the top (I used a straw and it worked perfectly) They are now ready to cook, and this is the best part, this recipe is for microwave ornaments (for baking in the oven, reduce flour to 2 cups and bake at 250 for 2-3 hours) Put 4-6 on a plate depending on size and bake for 3-5 minutes. (I started mine at 3, flipped them over, and baked for another 2)

I have a "little girl" (2-3 year olds) playdate this morning and have 24 ornaments ready to be painted.  Plus an assortment of paint, glitter glue, and sequins for them to use.  I'll make sure to take pictures and post later.  If your looking for some fun, try this recipe out.

I think we'll use our ornaments for gift tags this year.  Grandma is going to be thrilled.


Fire in the Neighborhood

The other day as I was leaving to walk to the corner to get Boogie from the bus stop, I noticed smoke billowing up over the tree line and the back of our cul de sac. I'm not a good judge of distance and was curious as to where it was coming from. They are building a new outdoor mall a couple miles away and I thought it was coming from there.

I continued to watch as I waited for the bus and noticed that as cars drove down the street, they were all looking towards the smoke, apparently it was visible for a good distance. When my neighbor came around the corner from picking her daughter from school, she dropped of her daughter with me and went in search of the information we craved.

The fire was a couple blocks away. She could not get close enough to see the full damage. We later found out (from the evening news) that a fire had started in the garage of a residence. The owner and his neighbor had attempted to put the fire out with garden hoses before calling the fire department. By the time the Fire trucks arrived, the house was pretty much gutted.
It was tragic. To lose everything, and right before the holidays, my heart goes out to this elderly couple.

My neighbor and I were later discussing the damage and all that comes after such a tragic event like, how do you get all that water out of your house? You know I had to look that up.

I found a company that specializes in water removal. Who knew? is a company that specializes in water removal, smoke restoration, sewage backup , and mold remediation. They are available 24/7 for emergency service and can be at most locations within 30 minutes.

I think knowing in a tragic situation that you can get help fast to try and salvage what is left, may just be the brightest side of such an awful event.

Why is it so Quiet?

We have an extra little girl in the house today. We have Puddin' Pop, Baby (the Friday rental) and another 2.5 (we'll call her Amber) sweetie. I stayed up lat night and made ornaments (flour, salt, water) for the girls to paint this morning. They had fun with that for about 45 minutes. We then decided to build a Lego house. The 2 smaller girls disappeared upstairs, one to use the potty, the other for support. They have been up there for over an hour. Baby and I have been working on our Lego house and could hear the others playing in Puddin' Pop's room. We continued to build and I noticed that it had gotten very quiet upstairs. I grabbed my camera and went to investigate. They had moved into Boogie's room (further down the hall) which is why I couldn't hear them. This is what they were doing.

What fun! I kinda wished I was 2 again so I could join in on the fun.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

VoIP Reviews

Blog Pictures

If you are looking for an alternative in phone services, there's a new site that breaks down the advantages of different VoIP providers. VoIP is a fast growing phone service that allows you to make and receive local and long distance calls through your Internet provider at a largely reduced rate from regular phone service providers. offers a list of providers in your area (just enter your area code), breakdowns of pricing plans, VoIP Reviews, and you can even check out the quality and performance of your connection with a VoIP simulator.

If you are interested in reducing your phone bill and are looking for alternatives, check out and start saving money today.

Length or Girth

I've been reading a lot lately about different people's views on the length of posts. I have varied word counts and mostly don't even pay any mind to the number of words in my posts, but occasionally I'll read a post on someone else's blog and think "Wow, I could have been way more descriptive in that last post." I like the way some people write. Other blogs I frequent because I enjoy the topics they write about and not necessarily the writing style. I try to write stuff that is informative, or funny. My children give me a plethora of humorous stuff to post about, although I'm not sure anyone cares. Relate? Yes. Care? Probably not.

My point is that while I think I could do a better job of being more descriptive with my stories to leave the reader hanging just a little longer...I've come across several articles lately that really interest me, but after the 15th paragraph, I start to lose my interest. Not that the story isn't interesting, I just have to go make dinner, run to the grocery store, finish EC dropping (goal- 50 per blog x4 = 200)etc. I find myself not finishing the article. So I ask you, which is better? What is the ideal or target word count for a good post?

Back in the Day

I remember back in the old days walking to school, in the snow... Sorry, wrong story. Actually I was thinking back to my early days in the restaurant business. It was 12+ hour shifts, followed by trip to the local hangout spot or someone's house depending on the hour. We would stay up most the night, go home (on most occassions), go to sleep, wake up and do it all over.

On weekend nights, with shifts that started at 4pm and ran until 2am or later, someone always had "mini thins" or "white crosses" to pep us up for the busy nights. I'm not proud, but it worked. Sometimes, in a pinch, a diet pill would work too.

What made me think of this was a recent trip to the grocery store where I was purchasing the winter meds for the kids in an effort to be prepared and saw their selection of diet pills. Really? I don not remember paying $20 for a package of dexatrim. That is outrageous. If I ever decide to get serious about losing this extra 20 I'm carrying around, pills will not be an option, which means I'll have to do it the old fashioned way...exercise. Maybe laptop lifts?

My Son is Afraid of a Mouse...and I'm Workin' It

The other night I was sitting in my corner chair, dropping EC's. Hubby was on the couch. I noticed something out of the corner of my eye, not something per Se, just a movement. I told Hubby I thought our mouse was back (we usually get one every winter, just a cute little field mouse). He of course said "Have another glass of wine."

I kept dropping and then felt someone (thing) looking at me. I looked at Hubby, he was staring at the TV. I looked towards the base of the couch and sure enough, there was Mickey, right between the couch and the wall, looking right at me. Brave little sucker that he was, he scurried out from behind the couch, headed through the dining room. I said to Hubby "Yep, the mouse is back," he said "I'll put down a trap tomorrow."

The following morning, knowing how the kids love animals, I told them about the cute little mouse in our house. Boogie was not enthused. In fact, he started crying and mumbling something about being afraid. I consoled him. He was terrified and wanted to know all the places the mouse could and could not go. We talked about it for 30 minutes. In the end, he called his Father (who was still at work) cried and begged Daddy to take care of it, and Hubby promised he would as soon as he got home. I took the kids up to bed, and Boog insisted on sleeping in our bed.

The following morning, the mouse forgotten, he is in rare form and picking on his sister the second she wakes up. he roars in her face, takes toys out of her hand, and does anything he can to get a rise out of her. Me, in my need for the insanity to stop, and to bring calm back to the home front, threaten him...with the mouse.

ME: "Would you like me to get that mouse and put it in your bed?"
Him: "That would be mean, why would you do that?"
Me: "Mean? Like what you're doing to your sister?"
Him: "yes."
Me: " are you going to stop?"
Him: "Then you won't put a mouse in my bed?"
Me: "Yes. If you treat your sister kindly, I will not put the mouse in your bed. But if you are intentionally mean..."
Him: "I'll be nice."
Me: "Thank you."

It worked better than I thought. Now, as soon as he starts in on his sister I just start singing "Oh, there's a mouse in Boogies Bed." he stops right away. I wonder how long I can use this one?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

For the Person who has Everything

Do you have that person in your life who is impossible to buy a gift for? For me it's my Mother in Law. She has a very classic and traditional style. She pretty much has everything she wants or needs and other than the list of the same items she gives us every year (a red turtleneck, a red slip, and some other red item that requires being replaced each year) we find it hard to find something personal or special. We usually end up finding a nice piece of crystal for her to display, but after 14 years, even that is getting old.

I really enjoy getting people unique gifts, but my MIL is practical, so my kind of unique, doesn't always (read: never) work for her. Knowing that she wears glasses, and loves trying different frames I found these

Yep, red frames to go with all the other stuff we get her each year. Zenni Optical has added a
Holiday frames collection, and while I really wanted to get the snowflake frames, Hubby said something a little more traditional would go over better and get more (read: any) use. We're talking about a woman who goes out for every holiday with festive sweaters, earrings, and even pins. These red glasses will match every outfit she wears from Thanksgiving to New Year's, now that's a useful gift. Don't you think?

Forgetful Mind

I mentioned a while back about a fear of my head getting too full of unimportant information and thus forgetting the important stuff. It's slowly happening. My last 2 trips to the grocery store have proven that. I have gone to get 2 or 3 things, have bought much more, and missed at least one of the things I originally went for.

Today, I went armed with a list. I only needed 5 things. Milk, pull-ups, wine, juice and toilet paper (that's the thing I missed on Monday's trip and one bathroom has been without since). I got to the store bought my five items plus about 10 other things that were on sale and headed to the checkout lane.

I really felt like I was missing something, I couldn't think of anything else we were out of, but it didn't stop me from checking my cart 3 times to make sure I had at least gotten the things on my list. We were at the checkout, near the front door, when the doors opened for someone coming in. One draft of the cold and I immediately realised what I had forgotten...

I had forgotten to wear a bra!

While I very rarely wear a bra around the house, I never leave the house without one. I'm a C cup for Pete's sake and that just ain't pretty. Fortunately, I was wearing one of Hubby's sweatshirts, so I just kind of held it out in front of me, hoping no one would notice. At least I saved a step by not having to have to take it off when I got home, right?

Making it Easier to Blog

Blog Pictures

I mentioned earlier about not being happy with a certain webhost for one of my other blogs. While I am mostly satisfied with the blogger platform, there is one issue I have. It may only be my issue, as I have not figured a better way, which there may or may not be, to upload pictures to my posts. Whenever I use a picture in a post, I use the image uploader and it always places the image at the top of the page. I then have to put it in its appropriate place for my post and this usually causes extra spacing that I then have to go back and remove. If I use several images, I usually have to edit several times as it will look fine until I publish, then it gets all out of wack and I have to go back and add spacing to get the pictures to align correctly. Again, this may just be me, but it's frustrating, regardless, and time consuming.

I just joined acobox and love the ease of using their pictures. Firstly, they have an abundant amount of pictures to choose from. They've broken down their selections into categories such as panorama, monochrome, people, animals and more. You can also use the search feature to find what you are looking for. All their pictures are approved for use, so I will not have to worry about copyright infringements and best of all, the blog pictures I chose to use all have a simple code to cut and paste, so I can put them wherever I want in my posts without having to do all the editing I was doing before.

The picture here is from acobox, as well as the picture in my previous post. The only downside I can foresee is the time I will spend marveling at all the beautiful panoramic and landscaping pictures they have. They are truly breathtaking.

It's Cold and I want Snow

Yesterday it was downright chilly. Don't get me wrong, it was a chilly 40 degrees, it felt good to me, but the rest of the Virginians I live with (read: Hubby and In-Laws) felt it was too cold to take the kids out of the house. I was hoping for snow. They said it might. It did for about 5 minutes just as Boogie was getting off the bus.

Having been born and raised in Michigan, 40 degrees is merely turtleneck and sweatshirt weather. The neighbors had hats and gloves as they waited at the bus stop. The kids enjoyed their 5 minutes of snow and ran around the yard with their tongues hanging out trying to catch flakes.

I was secretly hoping that the snow fairies would bless us with an overnight blanket of the fluffy stuff and wanted to see this when I awoke this morning.
Blog Pictures
It didn't happen. Today is just more of the 40 degree temperatures, sunny, without a snow cloud to be found. I find it humorous that I moved to Virginia to get away from the snow and cold, and now, with kids, want a good snow more than anything, so I can play with them in it. We haven't had any considerate accumulation that lasted more than 30 minutes since Boogie was born...and I'm ready.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In Need of a New Host

While I haven't been blogging for all that long (less than 6 months) and don't claim to know all that much about design and programming and hosting. I do know that I am not satisfied with one of my current hosts. Obviously, it is not the host of this blog, as that would be foolish to post here.
I'm referring to the host of one of my other blogs, my first blog actually, back when I really knew nothing. Their format is okay, it is, for the most part, easy to navigate. The ability to add products other than their own is limited and the site has started to crash, 2 times in the last month. It wasn't down long on either occasion, but down nonetheless. They also have put some pretty annoying ads on the site and several times I've had ads (with sound) pop while I'm typing posts. Needless to say, I am looking for some other webhosting options.

I stumbled upon which lists all the top webhosting sites, their features, and reviews from users. I'll admit that the information is a little overwhelming. They've done an excellent job of breaking down the features from basic to bonus, but I'm not sure what exactly it is I'm looking for. It's no fault of theirs. It's my inability to choose.

For blog hosting they state that bluehost is the best. Bluehost offers unlimited storage, data transfer, and domain hosting. They also have a 30 day money back guarantee, 24/7 tech support, and server monitoring 365 days of the year. I've heard other bloggers boast about bluehost, so I guess I'll have to check them out. I'll also accept any other advice you would like to share.

Praying Mantis and Bathroom Woes

The other morning I was putting away some laundry, in all the appropriate rooms, and on the way back downstairs I gathered all the water bottles and sippy cups from each of our nightstands. We all take water to bed for middle of the night thirst. With my hands full I entered the kitchen and encountered this:

It wasn't this one exactly, I wasn't that quick on my feet (to get my camera). I stood frozen, calling for help, with my hands full, as he was right on the edge of the sink and I didn't dare get too close and make him move. Hubby came and removed him to the outside of the house. It reminded me of a childhood story about a bathroom and a praying mantis. Then I was reminded of other childhood bathroom mishaps, funny how the mind works like that.

I will now share my traumatic events in the hope that they will be freed from my brain forever, or at least give you a heck of a chuckle.

Story #1

I was maybe 2.5. My parents, my brothers and I were at Meijer shopping and for some reason the boys were with Mom and Dad was stuck with me. Not stuck really, although in this situation I'm sure he felt stuck. I told him I had to go to the bathroom, he said "wait until we find your mother". I apparently really had to go and somehow got away from him. While he was looking for me he happened into the housewares department and found me (sort of) on a display toilet doing my thing. You would think he would have rushed over, relieved to have found me, but alas, he was a mortified man. He waited around the corner, "caught" me as I was coming to look for him, threw me in the cart, found my mom as fast as he could, grabbed my brothers and told my mother and I that they would be waiting in the car. Couldn't even be seen with me.

Story #2

We had a favorite restaurant growing up called Kewpies. They had the best olive burgers and onion rings. On one particular visit to this fine (read: hole in the wall) establishment, I, you guessed it, went to use the bathroom. The bathroom was a one person "closet" right in the middle of the dining area. I was old enough to go by myself, so off I headed, 5 feet from our table. I went in and had to stand on my tippy toes to lock the "latch". I went to the bathroom, washed my hands (maybe) and when I went to leave, I could not unlatch the lock. I didn't want to cause a disturbance in this fine establishment, so I sat and waited, knowing surely someone would come looking for me. It took about 30 minutes. Please don't ask me what my parents were thinking, I'm sure they were just enjoying the quiet, as I was the talker in the family (shocker, I know), anyway, they had to get the owner and his tools to take the door off it's hinges to get me out. I'm pretty sure we went straight home, without me even getting to eat.

Story #3 (the one that got this whole story started)

My father was a service manager at a car dealership. We had stopped in one day for a little visit, and I had to pee. I went into the bathroom, again a one stall closet, locked the door and did my business. Before I could finish, I saw this

blocking the door. I was quiet, very quiet. We must have been in a hurry because my parents came knocking about 5 minutes later. They wanted to know what the hold up was. I whispered "There's a thing blocking the door." They said "What kind of thing?" I said "A big green thing." and wouldn't say anymore for fear it would hear me and attack. Again, the door was removed for my release.

I think I was 15 before I was allowed to go to the bathroom by myself again.

Dear Santa

Dear Mr. Claus,

With the economy in crisis as it is, and the fact that my den (aka playroom) is in a different type of crisis (overrun with toys) I would like to suggest a limit of $25 per household member this year. We will make sure Boog gets the Nintendo DS he's been begging for, and we'll get Puddin Pop her Barbie Dream house (I swear it's her and not me asking for this) so you can concentrate on smaller, less expensive stuff. I'm sure the stuff the elves make is way more valuable than $25, so I've researched your dilemma and have come up with a favorable solution for both of us.

Kmart has been selling quality products at affordable prices for over 100 years and this year they are offering over 25,ooo items under $25. I know your a busy man, so I've already picked out some items for the four of us.

For Me: This lovely San Miguel Sherwood Candle Garden $20.99

For Hubby: This Coby Digital Keychain. He'll never be without current pictures of the kids again $19.99.

For Boogie: Spiderman 3 game for the DS his father and I are getting him $19.99.


For Puddin' Pop: This highchair for her babies. I believe it is the only thing we do not have to put the babies in. She will absolutely love it $19.99.

Again, I know you are very busy and I'm not sure how close you are to Kmart, so I would be more than happy to pick up these items for you. I would even be willing to wrap them for you. You just have to let me know ASAP and send me the $100. I will not be doing any shopping after Thanksgiving except from my laptop so you would then be responsible for shipping as well.

Happy Holidays,

The US Post Office, Barack Obama, and Sears


What do they all have in common?  They've taken away our excuses!

For years after I moved away from home, I was awful at getting Birthday, Father's Day, and Christmas presents home in time for the special occasions.  I dreaded going to the post office and would often hand deliver the gifts when I saw the appropriate recipients, several months later, when they came to visit or I made a trip home.  Now the postal carrier will pick up the packages  right from my front door (or wherever I choose to leave it).  My packages are always on time now.  I also have been known to order gifts online and have them sent directly to the recipient.  Either way, no more excuses.

While I haven't found a way to express my views on Barack Obama becoming President without offending, I will say that He has taken away a lot of the excuses we hear from people who have chosen not to better themselves.  No more excuses People.

Now, for the person in your life, who is just to busy to buy Christmas (or whatever Holiday you celebrate) gifts, Sears has launched a revolutionary excuse buster called Sears2Go Text SHOP to 73277 or go to from your mobile phone and you can get most all the benefits of shopping online.  You can browse categories, get product reviews, make purchases and much more.  If you decide to pick up your purchase from a local store, they will even text you when your order is ready.  How cool is that?

So if you know this "I'm too busy" person, tell them Sears just took away their excuse.



Monday, November 17, 2008

I said Literal, not Logical

So...earlier I mentioned that my darling five year old boy, Boogie, is very literal in his vocabulary and what he hears. Apparently, the smarts stop there!

Boogie came home from school today and as we sat to get started on homework, I noticed a fowl smell. His darling 2.5 year old sister is working on the whole using the potty thing and loves to use the bathroom when we are out in public, or when someone else has to go. Other than that, it's a crap shoot. She pees on the potty, the couch, the floor, wherever she feels the need??? So naturally I assumed she had had an accident (read: intentional, "mommy has nothing better to do than to clean my butt and shorts" moment). I said: "Something smells like poop." (look at daughter) 5 year old son says "Yeah, it's me." and the rest of the conversation goes like this...

me: "what?"
son: "I pooped in my pants."
me: "when?"
son (and I swear this is the truth): Well, I got up this morning, came downstairs, had breakfast, got dressed, went upstairs and brushed my teeth, got my coat and backpack on, went to the bus stop, got on the bus, got to school and waited outside class, got into class and unloaded my backpack and took off my coat, sat at my table and did my seat work (20 minutes), we then went to the carpet for carpet time (another 20 minutes) and the went to centers, I did my first center (15-20 minutes) and went to my second center with Ms. Langley (teacher's aide) and that's when it happened."
me: "So you have had poop in your pants since before lunch?"
son: "Yes"
me: "Why?"
son: "I was afraid"
me: "Afraid of what?"
son: "missing some"
me: "So rather than pooping in the bathroom and "missing some" while wiping, you would rather miss it all and poop in your pants?"
son: "yes"
me: "that's not good"
son: "why?"
me: "for so many reasons, namely you smell, did other kids tell you you smell?"
son: "actually, they said something smelled"
me: "what did you say?"
son: "I told them it wasn't me"
me: "and?"
son: "they believed me."

I wish I could say that this was the first conversation we had about this...but I can not.

Win a tub full of Ted and your favorite cereal...without Ted

What better way to support Families in need than by joining in on this fun contest.  Ted Murphy (from Izea) is giving one lucky winner a lifetime tub full of their favorite cereal . 52 boxes to be exact.

You have until midnight on the 23rd of November to enter.  Either blog about it or tweet it on twitter (or both for 2 entries).  If Ted receives 500 (or more) comments on this contest (2 per person, max), he will not only give the winner 52 boxes of cereal, he will also donate 52 boxes to his local food bank.

I would like 52 boxes of Captain Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch, please.  I will donate 45 boxes to my local food bank (if I'm the lucky winner).



Elliot Yamin, My Kind of Holiday

I LOVE American Idol.  Something about watching these kids grow (or try to) their talent as well as their confidence in performing, makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.  While I do not run out and buy their CD's, I do enjoy hearing their songs on the radio and often buy individual tracks on-line to listen to while I'm blogging or cooking dinner.

I also enjoy Holiday music, when it's appropriate.  My favorite (well, not right now) radio station started playing Christmas music 24/7 the day after Halloween.  What?  That's a little early in my book so the station is banned from my listening.  They were also playing all the "old" stuff, which made it even more annoying.

While searching for "new" holiday music, I came across's Music Shop.  You can purchase your favorite CD's at the best prices, as wel las listen to full tracks of newly released songs.  I've been listening to Elliot Yamin's Warm Me Up, from his My Kind of Holiday CD all morning and am getting in the Holiday spirit.  They also currently have tracks from George Strait, Josh Groban, Seal and many others.  While their play list is small, they swap it up all the time to spotlight different artists and songs.  I'll be checking back to see what songs I can add to my Holiday playlist.  Check it out!

"I'm tired"..."I don't care"

For years Darling Hubby would always call me at work in this monotone whiny voice, talking all slow, about whatever.  I worked in a restaurant, I didn't have time for "slow".  I understand he may have been tired from work, but the tone in his voice was down right annoying and I quickly (after several years of patience) told him to at least sound upbeat when calling as the "blah, blah, woe is me, blah blah" was totally getting on my nerves.  As any loving husband would do, he stopped.  It's been several years and two children since this awakening and our conversations (although I now work from home and am not so rushed) are much more enjoyable. 

The other day Hubby had a sleep deprived EEG test done and could not sleep after midnight on Wednesday for his test Thursday morning. He felt wide awake after the test and decided to go into work.  By 2:30 he was feeling the effects of being up all night and called us to come and get him.  We got home and I convinced him to stay awake for another 4 hours and go to bed with the kids rather than take a 4 hour nap and be up all night thus continuing the cycle. 

Imagine my pleasure surprise when our 2 year old, sitting next to him on the couch, said "Daddy, why you talk like that?"  He said "How am I talking?"  She, with a long face, says "Blaaah, Blaaah, blaaah."  I completely fell out. He said (trying not to laugh) "Daddy is just tired."  She said "Don't do it anymore."

 Out of the mouths of babes. 

 My little sweetie is just like me!

Rebuilding America for only $25

Do you have investments? Are you worried about the state of the economy and the impact on your current investments? Have you failed to invest due the minimum required to invest? All of these are questions we are currently facing as a society. Money is tight in a lot of households and having extra to invest in your future may not even be an option...until now.

Rebuilding of America has started a program to help jump start the economy by offering investors a minimum investment of just $25. They are a family owned business with over 25 years of experience in construction, refurbishing, property development and tenant leasing. Their goal is to use the money from investors to buy foreclosed construction projects from the banks that are burdened with the loss of revenue in defaulted mortgages. They then plan to turn the properties into viable commercial income producing properties.

I really like this idea for several reasons. I like the idea of investing, but often cringe at the minimum amounts necessary (too much of a gamble). I also like that by taking on projects, they are creating jobs, thus helping the economy and individuals. I have $25, and could spend it on a lot of other non-producing "investments", so why not try this out? I also think it would make a nice gift for the Holidays.

Literally Speaking

Boogie takes everything literally. He always has. He has a vocabulary of a child twice his age and uses his words properly in his every day speaking. When he hears a word he doesn't know, he asks what it means. Other times, he hears a word and "knows" it's wrong, and corrects us.

A couple years back, he may have been three, Boog came into the bathroom where I was leaning into the mirror, trying to get an eyelash (or something) out of my eye. He asked what I was doing and I told him "Mommy has something in her eye." He asked "Does it hurt?" I said, "Not really, it's just irritating." He said "Don't you mean eye-itating?" Thus began this literal thinking of my child.

Around the same time we were on our way to Sam's club for some shopping when Boog announced that he had to poop. My hubby told him to just "hold his cheeks" and we would be there soon. We heard Boog mumble something about "Why will this work?" We turned around and saw this:

He was holding his cheeks. This made me spit the coffee I had just sipped all over the front window, which did not please Boog (or Hubby) at all. But we made it to the store on time.

I wasn't surprised, the other day, when we took him for a hair cut. He was looking through a book of styles and liked one of a kid with a little longer, straight hair. Boog's hair is naturally wavy, so his dad said "I think Miss Rachel (the girl who cuts their hair) could pull that off." Boog just looked at him and said "Never mind." I immediately knew what his concern was but it took Dad a few to catch up. "So you don't want Miss Rachel to do your hair like this?" "No, Dad. I would rather she cut my hair like always, not pull it off."

That kid cracks me up!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Layaway options for the holidays


Wow.  I didn't even know stores still did layaways.  What a great plan to get the things you want need for the holidays without breaking the bank.

Sears launched their holiday layaway program 2 days ago and it applies to most items in the store, including sale items.  With  Sears Layaway, you can pick your items out now, Put a cash down payment of 20% or $15, whichever is greater, you can then make regular payments until the item(s) are paid off (up until December 23rd) and then take them home.

I was looking at their sale items and found some stuff for my layaway.  I think the most inviting thing about layaway is the fact that someone else can "hold on to your stuff", so sneaky little kids can't find their gifts ahead of time.  Here's what I've picked out so far:

Boogie is in desparate need of jeans.  He went from size 3t to 5t last school year, so I'll have to get a couple different sizes this year to last the rest of the year.

Puddin' Pop LOVES her Princess nightgowns, but it's getting a little cold (since I really haven't turned the heat on yet) for those and I know she will love this.  At 50% off, Mommy loves it too.

For Hubby (okay, maybe for both of us) I picked out this microwave.  Our built in one stopped working months ago (it smelled like an electric fire, with no flames, thank goodness) and we pulled a counter top one out of the attic.  I would really like my counter top space back and am sure Hubby agrees that I should have more space.

I'll save $80 on this microwave.  By putting it on layaway, I'm giving Hubby notice, and time, to get the other one out of the wall so I don't lose even more space by the new one "sitting" on the counter waiting for it's spot.



Relaxed and Well Rested

Today is Hubby's Birthday.  He's 40! (felt I had to add that) and we both had a wonderful nights sleep.

I planned ahead and got Mima and Papa (the In-Laws) to take the kids for the night.  Can you hear the smile on my face?  We had a lovely dinner at the Outback.  A medium filet with a 1/2 pound side of Alaskan King Crablegs, a baked potato for each of us, and I had a salad.  I honestly believe that this is the first time in the 15 years (okay, 14.5, I'm rounding up) we've been together that we have ever split a meal.  Is that a sign of something?  Anyway, it worked out perfect. Neither of us was over stuffed, which is what usually happens when we go out without the kids, we are so happy to be eating without interuptions that we EAT.

We came home.  I made some chocolate chunk brownies, and as soon as they were done we (hubby) made up a big bowl of brownies topped with Ice cream and chocolate syrup.  We sat on the couch, sharing the big bowl of dessert, watching all the adult programs we tape and never get to watch with the kids around.

It was a fabulous night.  Reminded us of what it was like before kids.  We hope the kids behaved for Mima and papa and get invited back for a sleep over soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm going to learn Chinese

Have you ever wanted to learn a Foreign language? I know way back (yes, way) in High School. we had the option of Spanish or French. I took French for 2 years and didn't retain a lick of it. I though it might be fun to learn a language now, and found a site where I can Learn Chinese absolutely free. That's a price I can afford. offers a comprehensive program, to make it easy for anyone to learn. They have broken down the program into 10 lessons and have the lessons in printable format. They include flash cards (you print from your computer), puzzles (to make it fun), and an online practice guide. They have also listed other great tools that you can (but do not have to) purchase to help you further.
The first lesson teaches you how to say"hello", ask someone "How are you?", and respond to ."How are you". The site is easy to navigate and explains the fundamentals and reasons for their approach. While I think I'll be able to speak a few words shortly, and possibly even read some Chinese, I'm not sure I'd ever be able to write Chinese,
Join me in this adventure of learning and learn Chinese.

A little girl like me, a rabbit, and big, small, big, small

Yesterday was a kinda drab, grey, rainy day. I decided to snuggle on the couch with Puddin' Pop and watch a movie. We have all the animated movies but thought it would be fun to watch some thing new. I checked out On Demand to see what we could find. Puddin' Pop saw a little girl and insisted we watch "that".
We made some popcorn and settled in to watch "Alice in Wonderland." It was so fun. A little girl bonding time. She was so focused on the movie and we got to snuggle and watch the whole thing. It makes me a little sad that she is growing up so fast.
I had to smile with relief this morning when her friend (that comes over every Friday) came in the door and she (Puddin' Pop) said "I want to watch my movie." I asked "which one?" She said "The little girl like me, a rabbit, and big, small, big, small". Okay, she's growing up that fast.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thinking Back...

I've mentioned before about reconnecting with an old friend from High School. It's been about 6 months since we first chatted and has been absolutely wonderful. We've had several late night chats (after the kiddies and Hubby go to bed) and I'm reminded of why we were friends in the first place.

We spent a year and a half almost completely inseparable. Shared everything, and caused a little mischief along the way. I remember our Spring Break trip to las vegas. While everyone else headed to Florida, we, as always, did our own thing and went to spend the week with her Aunt and Uncle. My friend, AM, is allergic to all scents and fragrances and called ahead of time to make sure her relatives would have a house free of scents (she sometimes complained of peoples scented deodorants, very sensitive nose). The problem was, she forgot to ask about pets, which she was also allergic to. The had 4. Needless to say, she was miserable after the first night and wanted to go home, but it turned out so much better.

Her Uncle worked at a casino, and although he could not get us a deal at his hotel (we were not old enough to gamble, so there were no deals) he knew where we could go. The Aladdin had just been bought by new owners and they had not yet received their casino license, so we got a room for $20 a night. 2 teenage girls, 5 nights, on the strip of Las Vegas.

During the day, we spent time with her relatives on their boat and at the beaches, at night we did stuff we shouldn't have, and had a blast. It's a vacation I will never forget and am glad to have shared it with AM. I hope she feels the same way (I know she does).

Another GNO

We had our monthly Girls Night Out (In, actually. We go to the neighbor with no kids still living at home) We ate and drank and had a wonderful pumpkin pie for dessert.
Last night was beef fajitas and absolute favorites! We had a wonderful time catching up on how the kids are doing in School. Becky told us that her son (she's the host, her son is 19) is getting shipped to Kuwait. It will be his first tour and like any mother, she is a little (lot) worried. He and his wife just had a baby boy 3 months ago, so he will be leaving his wife and child behind. Talk about growing up fast. Our prayers are with him and his family. It's a short (4 month) tour, so hopefully he will not miss too much of the baby's growth.
The conversation landed on religious beliefs after dinner and got a little heated. I won't get into detail, but we shared our views, agreed and disagreed on certain points and left it at that. It was nice to voice an opinion and listen to others and know that we are all entitled to our own beliefs. This is a group of strong women with strong opinions but we all realize that they are "our" opinions and we do not feel the need to be right or change someone else's views. It was an enjoyable debate.
I look forward to next months meal. Maybe they'll let me off the hook and let me bring the salad since I've done the entree the last 2 months. What do you think, Ladies?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Smell the Smoke? See the Lightbulb? I Have an Idea!

So I was trying to figure out how to finish the bathroom project. With the new wood floors and a beautiful new vanity and commode, I still need to figure out what color(s) to paint. I do know one thing. Hubby and I are very tired of all the dark wood trim throughout the house. We figure we'll start in the bathroom and move on from there (a small project may get us motivated).

I must also add that I tried to paint the dark trim in Puddin' Pop's room when we were getting ready for her arrival and never got any further than the primer...she's 2.5. I just do not have the patience to tape off, and paint all that trim (crown molding, baseboards, and especially the windows).
The trim currently looks like this:

I must add that this is the crown molding in every room of the

When the contractor was finishing up the floor we had mentioned that we wanted to do away with the dark trim and since he had already pulled out the base boards, he was nice enough to paint them before putting them back in. IDEA #1 : Take the trim down, paint, replace.

Here's the painted baseboard:

Looks good right? No taping and meticulously painting so as not to ruin the new floor (which would surely be my luck).

However, on further inspection, I noticed this:

It may be hard to see, but the wood is split. If a professional can do that, I'm pretty sure I would too. I also wonder if he thought we wouldn't notice. It's directly in front of the toilet so you have a perfect view while "sitting."

So now for my Light bulb moment...IDEA #2: Take down the crown molding, throw away, buy some in white, and put up!!! What took me so long to figure this out I will never know, but it is my new brainchild, and I will make it happen, even if for now it's only the bathroom.
My New Partner in Crime...InvitingHome
I found the molding I want at, I have all ideas that this site is going to get me into trouble. While I'm not necessarily a "decorator" by nature, this site has inspired me. They have a blog, useful tips, decorating ideas and installation guides. The site is easy to navigate and is broken down into categories that make finding exactly what you want an easy thing to do. However, don't be surprised if their extensive inventory makes it hard to choose. They have everything from molding to furniture, and their decorating ideas will set your house apart from all the rest. If you are looking for a new and creative design for a room, this is the place. I know that all the houses in our cul de sac are pretty much the same...not for long if I can help it.
I picked the California Crown Molding. I can't show a picture here because it is a copyright infringement, but check the link, I think It's going to look great.
Now here's the "I'm going to get myself in trouble" part. I love candles, especially in the winter, it just makes the house feel cozy to me. I, however, do not enjoy chasing the kids around begging them not to blow out the candles. We give them candles every year on their birthday cakes and tell them to make a wish and blow them out, why shouldn't they get wishes all year? (That's what I believe they are thinking) So...
I saw these lovely Corbels. They are all the rage right now, and can add "class" to any furniture design. (the site allowed me to copy this pic, hope it's okay)

I'm thinking (more smoke, I know), I can get 2 of these and a wood shelf to create a high shelf (out of the kids reach) and have a lovely candle display. Before you warn me about soot stains on the ceiling I have 2 words for you SOY CANDLES. My bestest neighbor makes them, and makes me any scents I want.
If you are looking to add some flair to your house, whether you are a decorator by nature...or NOT (like me), Check out They have the ideas, the tools, and the inspiration to make any house...(wait for it)...Your Home.